Rafael serrano born 1954 Havana, Cuba. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

I consider myself a neo-surrealist, shaped by influences such as Man Ray, Max Ernst, Dade and Dali. Most of my work is the product of my subconscious.
I’m interested in the soul of humanity and the inner workings of the mind enhanced by a poetic vision.

Since I am both a painter and photographer, I like to combine both mediums. I start by making a small painting that I collage over. Then I photograph the work, and put it into Photoshop and manipulate the palette, the contrast, and I pick out the colors I want to play with. I blow these images up to 20 x 24 inches, then repaint or collage over the print; sometimes I photograph them, yet again. My final pieces often move through six generations of paint collage and photography.



  • Otis College of Art and Design, Masters of Fine Arts, Los Angeles, 1982
  • California State University Long Beach, Bachelors of Fine Arts, Long Beach, 1980

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2016 Lake Of Secrets And Other Living Things, Fab Gallery, Venice Beach
  • 2016 Lagoon Of Unrepentant Memories Plus Other Living Things, Neutra Institute, Los Angeles
  • 2014 Space Gallery, Pomona
  • 2014 Downtown Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 2013 York K Studio, Los Angeles
  • 2011 Orange Door Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1998 Bigoudi International, Los Angeles
  • 1997 Gallery Isabelle, Los Angeles
  • 1995 Gallery Andy Jillien, Zurich
  • 1991 Marquardt Gallery, Venice Beach
  • 1990 Jan Baum Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1989 Anthropological Poetic Fantasies, B1 Gallery, Santa Monica

Group Exhibitions

  • 2014 Art Share Los Angeles, Los Angeles
  • 2012 Ground Space Projects, Los Angeles
  • 2009 Attack of the Cyclops, Daydream Republic, Los Angeles
  • 2009 Last Picture Show ’09, DRKRM Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 2009 30th Year Anniversary Show, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica
  • 2008 Love Me, DRKRM Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 2003 Absolute Biennial, Los Angeles
  • 1999 Group Show, Downtown Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1994 Kunst Aus Den USA, Galerie M., Berlin
  • 1993 The Art Speaks for Itself VIII, DGA Building, Los Angeles
  • 1991 Marquardt Gallery, Venice Beach
  • 1990 Marquardt Gallery, Venice Beach
  • 1989 Frailty of Power, Cypress College, Cypress, CA
  • 1988 Viewpoints, The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego
  • 1987 Poetic Injury, Alternative Museum, New York City
  • 1987 Myth Ritual, San Francisco Camerawork Gallery, San Francisco
  • 1987 Avant Garde in the Eighties, LACMA, Los Angeles
  • 1986 Members Juried Show, LACPS Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1986 Artist for the Homeless, Eilat Gordon Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1986 Three Person Show, BC Space Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1986 All California Biennial, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
  • 1985 Exaggerations LACPS Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1985 Outspeak, LACPS Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1985 Alumni Group Show, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles
  • 1981 Fix-it-Up, LACE Gallery, Los Angeles


  • Laden, Tanja M.: “Movies and Memes Meet in Abstract-Neosurrealist Paintings | City of the Seekers”, December 16, 2016
  • Tarley, Phil: “The Critical Eye”, Fabrik Magazine, September 8, 2016
  • Solis, Nathan: “The Art of The Comeback: Highland Park artist seeks a return to the spotlight”, The Eastsider, May 24, 2013
  • Kandel, Susan: Arts Magazine, May 2011
  • Frank, Peter: “Art Pick of the Week”, LA Weekly, April 26 – May 2, 1991
  • Snow, Shauna: “Rafael Serrano at Play in the Fields of Painting, Photography”, Los Angeles Times, February 17, 1991
  • Baron, Todd: “A Different Aesthetic”, ArtScene, 1991
  • Curtis, Cathy: “ART REVIEW : Serrano’s Photographs Lack Punch : Exhibit: Though a reproduction of one of his works was removed from the poster advertising, it’s hard to see what the phallic fuss is about”, Los Angeles Times, November 11, 1989
  • Vanderknyff, Rick: “Phallic Photo Controversy Boosts Attendance in Cypress : Art: Rafael Serrano called it “censorship” when a photograph of his was pulled from a flyer, but when word got around, more people than usual dropped in at Cypress College Fine Arts Gallery to have a look”, Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1989
  • Donohue, Marlena: “Santa Monica”, Los Angeles Times, July 28, 1989
  • Rugoff, Ralph: ”The Wry Stuff”, L.A. Style Magazine, 1989
  • Boettger, Suzanne: “Poetic Injury”, Alternative Museum Exhibition Catalog, 1987
  • Blake, Robert: “Myth/Ritual”, San Francisco Camerawork Quarterly, 1987
  • Fox, Howard: “Avant Garde in the Eighties”, LACMA Exhibition Catalog, 1987
  • Nicholson, Chuck: ”Sexual Icons Mythical Realities”, Artweek, 1986

Work Experience as an artist:

  • 2005 Anthropological Poetry
  • 2004 Production Designer – “Pumpkin Carver” Design for a horror film
  • 2000 Conga Room – Interior Paintings and murals
  • 1986 – 1987 Instructor – Norwalk High School
  • 1986 Designed Photographic Projections for Jackson Brown
  • 1985 Scenic Painter – Freelance Scenic Painter
  • 1984 – 1986 Instructor – Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • 1984 Sculptor/Designer – Dexter Company